With E3 2013 just around the corner, literally in about 20 minutes when this post goes out on the blog. Signalling the start and pre-E3 show hosted by Konami tomorrow, so be sure to tune into that as I will be. I decided to post about PlayStation4 vs XBOX One (or as I like to abbreviate it PS4 vs X1).
The Sony reveal of PS4 was back in May, they showed off the specs of the console, what it was capable of using many new games coming to the console, as well as the new DualShock4 controller. I will go through what Sony showed, the aspects of what interested me as a gamer, and what they did wrong in my eyes.
The start of the reveal and the whole reveal itself was centred around games and the gamer. Sony made it a top priority to hammer home that they where building the PS4 with gamers at the forefront of the design. This made the reveal itself very uplifting to me as a gamer, and also calmed a fear of mine that I stated in my last article on DailyLifeOfAGamer.
I did have my doubts and found myself trying to fault Sony in some way or another, this mainly because of the mess ups Sony have had in the past ruined their reputation with me and many others in the community. I found that I was pleasantly pleased with the whole reveal itself and could only fault Sony on certain occasions.
The specs on the PS4 was the most interesting, they measure up to current standard spec PCs and allow development, and other companies to apply those specs and design around them with ease. The good that has with allowing companies to design with ease is that they can make much better visual standard games, and lets them get higher results bringing better standards to the industry. The specs of the PS4 is as follows:
CPU: Single-chip custom processor x86-64 AMD ‘Jaguar’ 8 cores
GPU: 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon™ based graphics engine
Memory: GDDR5 8GB
Hard Disk Drive: Built-in
Optical Drive (read only): BD 6xCAV, DVD 8xCAV
I/O and communication: Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0), AUX, Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T), IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)
AV output: HDMI, Analog-AV out, Digital Output (optical)
The specs are definitely the top point of what makes the PS4 stand out, but for gamers like me who awe over what is in it, we also want to see what it looks like. That sadly did not happen, and at the time that was what I focused on, not what good it was doing for gamers, but that they didn’t release what it looked like.
They release what the DualShock4 controller looked like, and personally I do not understand why they put a touch pad on the front of it, it just made it look silly; otherwise it looks ok-ish. But what got me was the absence of the console itself, which now in hindsight was a brilliant marketing move for Sony to not show it, hyping up the console itself.
They did however release a teaser for the console itself, which is why I changed my tunnel view of “they didn’t show it so they didn’t do a good job”. I looked at the wider picture and narrowed in that Sony where out for gamers and all about gamers with the PS4.
What stood out was the streaming integration within the PS4, bringing Twitch in as a partner allowing gamers to stream their games as they play, a big plus in my eyes. Also the aspect of viewing your friends games as they are playing and the ability to pop into their game and play with them, obviously certain games would allow that but it was an interesting concept.
The massive plus was that they centred around their exclusive IPs, gave their fans a taste of the games that where in production and also gave exclusive gameplay of other games currently in production. Looking back I have to say that Sony with the PS4 reveal did a good job.
Also the use of a new partner to Sony, Gaikai with witch you will be able to play your old PS3, PS2 and PS1 games on by downloading them through Gaikai. This is a big thumbs up from me as I loved the PS1 and PS2 titles as a young boy, and still do to this day.
Where they lacked, as I said, in hindsight was not all that much. They produced the sepcs that gave techies a good insight on what was to be expected from the console, they also produced games for the fans and gameplays of other games gamers wanted to see.
The cons of the reveal was the gimmicks with, like I said the touch pad on the DualShock4 controller and the Move bar much like Microsoft’s Kinect. Also the lack of clarity of what Sony will bring to the PS4, PlayStationNetwork being thrown up in the air, and other aspects that are vital to a gamers choice to one console or the other.
Moving onto the Microsoft reveal, one that I thought would push the Sony PS4 reveal back a few steps. It turned out that I was not just wrong but my own fears had been realised, and it was with the company I’ve shared my gaming experiences with since the release of the XBOX 360 Elite.
The Microsoft reveal started out alright, the full reveal of both the new name of the console, XBOX One a very odd name yes but it makes sense when I explain that to you soon enough. But also the reveal of the console itself, again very odd as it looked like an old DVD/VHS player. Nothing like the streamlined consoles that have been coming out recently by both Microsoft and Sony.
The name XBOX One is quite clever name once you have explained it. The original XBOX, also known as XBOX1, was the first, the next console being the XBOX 360, a 360 is a full turn 360 degree turn, bring you back around to the original XBOX, or as it was known, the XBOX One. Clever name, yet other names like Infinity would have been better in my own opinion.
The rest of the reveal was what I know like to call the do not’s of revealing a console. Microsoft made a point in saying that XBOX One was an all in one entertainment system, heavily meaning that they want to replace all that you have in your living room right now with their one box.
This was a marketing nightmare in my eyes, the focus on TV and Microsoft’s apparent see through intentions throughout the reveal was shocking. It again intensified my own fear of consoles becoming an entertainment system for the masses and not what they are supposed to be, a games console.
Sure the way you can switch between your favourite TV show and your game is seamless, but it is not needed, a gamer will not need that function unless its a live streaming gaming event, or something like that. People who will buy the XBOX One are those who pay £40 a year to Microsoft so they can have access to apps like Netflix, then pay for a subscription on Netflix for £15 and watch movies on their XBOX, when you could just cut out the middle man and have a Nexflix subscription.
In my personal eyes Microsoft made a huge mistake in putting the reveal solely on what they thought their stockholders wanted to see, and not what the gamers that got them to the place they are now wanted to see. And they also gave the cheek in saying this was designed by gamers.
If it was designed by gamers it would bit have specs that where just for show, that meaning the specs they showed meant only half of that would be available to developers unlike Sony’s PS4 which gave it all to the developers. The only thing that was designed by gamers was the controller, which in playing on both the XBOX controller and PlayStation controller, the XBOX controller is the better out of the two. The specs of the XBOX One is as follows:
CPU: 8 core CPU custom build by Microsoft
GPU: D3D 11.1 chip with 32MB embedded memory
Memory: 8GB DDR3
Hard Disk Drive: 500GB HDD
Optical Drive (read only): Blu-Ray/DVD combo drive
I/O and communication: USB 3.0, Ethernet, Three different 802.11n radios (for connecting to controller and other devices), WiFi Direct
AV output: HDMI input and output, 1080p and 4K support, Optical output
The rest of the reveal after the dreadful and awkward on stage presences showing new apps like Skype, which is not really all that new considering you can already talk to your friends through XBOX Live. The rest was about sports, and American sports, nothing that over the seas viewers would see the light of day.
Microsoft pushed themselves away from previously being a games company giant and toward becoming an entertainment company, which you would have seen coming in past E3 press conferences and new updates to the XBOX 360 console itself. I and many others probably and still do not want to believe that Microsoft has abandoned games, and they will still develop for games, just not focus on it which they should be.
Microsoft need to show at E3 that the XBOX One is fundamentally a games consoles, as well has an entertainment aspect. Not put on a show of gimmicks with the new Kinect showing off a load of exclusives for that, that no gamers wants any more, that gimmick is being beaten to death and people are stating to realise it and will not pay out for it.
Sony on the other hand need to show at E3 all what they didn’t clarify at their press conference. They need to keep to their promises they will give out which they have been doing to a great effort with PlayStationPlus free games. Other than that they just need to do what they did before, focus on games and drive that home, and show only a little of their gimmicks.
In my eyes Sony won the first battle with the PS4, and made me interested through most of the reveal. Microsoft failed to interest me besides showing a cinematic of Quantum Break by Remedy and a Halo Television Series by Steven Spielberg. E3 2013 will decide for me which I will be getting, if at all any of them, with my PC being all that I have needed for the past year and a half now.
Also the reason why I didn’t add Nintendo into this is because their console the WiiU in my eyes has already gone out of the console war picture, as I think was Nintendo’s plan. They want to get away from the war and focus on what they are good at, which is a console for family genre games. But we may see them come back into the war, changing the game industry once more with a unique idea, I don’t know.
All I can finish on is E3 2013 is the most vital E3 of this millennium, and will decide how the industry will play out for years to come, that will also be decided by the new digital revolution seemingly upon us, with developers prying away from the shackles of publishers. Lets hope for the games industry will survive and change for the best through the destruction that may come.